Sarah Hansen looking to end FGCU career with tourney run
Everyone knows that basketball, men or women’s, is a team sport. The FGCU women’s basketball team soared to an 18-0 conference record last season and the Atlantic Sun regular season conference championship. Though the team as a whole found success last season, Sarah Hansen, the team’s star senior guard out of McKean, Pa. is the player with the stat line that jumps out at you at the end of the game. “Sarah is a tough young lady with a high level of intelligence and competitiveness” said Head Coach Karl Smesko.
Hansen is everything coaches want out of a student-athlete and two-year captain. When she’s not leading the team in field goals or rebounds, she’s helping teammates develop. “She helps teach the younger players what it means to ‘play like an Eagle’” said Smesko. In addition to made field goals and rebounds, Hansen led the team in blocks, freethrows, and points per game.
Her 48.2 shooting percentage, 16.3 points per game, 82 percent accuracy from the free throw line, and eight double-doubles on the year were enough to earn her College Sports Madness’ and the head coaches’ pick for the A-Sun Player of the Year. Though the team had such great success in their regular season conference schedule, the Atlantic Sun tournament ended in an upset after a loss to No. 2 Stetson in the championship game.
Hansen’s junior year marked her spot in FGCU women’s basketball history. Against Maine she scored her 1,000th career point, making her only the sixth player in history to reach that milestone. Hansen was also named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-American Women’s Basketball second-team, the only FGCU basketball player, men’s or women’s, to be awarded that honor. The captain of any team is there to set an example for their younger teammates. There’s no better way to set an example than being named the FGCU Player of the Year. In addition, Sarah was honored with the Atlantic Sun Scholar- Athlete of the Year, as well as to the All- Conference academic team and A-Sun first-team for her performance on the court.
As Hansen’s senior season approaches, the team has a preseason ranking of No. 10. The FGCU Lady Eagles have their eyes set on a third straight undefeated year in conference play and their 12th, 20-plus win season. Smesko realizes what Hansen has brought to the program and knows the success she will help bring this year. “Sarah is the best player in our program’s history. She has been firstteam all-conference three times and was the conference player of the year last year. She is a complete, all-around, great player,” he said. “She is a tremendous person, and I hope our best memories are yet to come.”